Have you ever gotten back from a vacation and felt like you needed a vacation from your vacation before returning to the real world? That’s exactly how I feel now that the holidays have come and gone. It’s a new year and I feel like I need some rejuvenation; I need to de-stress.
Maybe you indulged a little too much over the holidays and your pants are a little tighter, maybe you spent too much money buying Christmas gifts this year, or maybe you had all week off between Christmas and New Years and didn’t get a single thing done on your to-do list. No matter what causes your current stress, one of these 5 simple tips is sure to help you de-stress after the busy holiday season.
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 Take a Walk Outside
I know having a desk job that requires you to sit at a desk for 8+ hours a day can be draining. You feel sluggish, easily agitated, and quite frankly – easily stressed. Trust me, I know! This past summer, a couple co-workers and I started taking walks around the loop our office sits on and my goodness did I quickly see an improvement in my stress level. It gave me a chance to get outside, get some fresh air, and focus on something other than whatever was stressing me out that day. It allowed me to come back with a renewed, fresh spirit and mind. Our loop is about a mile long; plenty of time to get my heart rate up a little and increase those happy little endorphins throughout my body. It’s been said that greenery also helps improve your happiness and well-being.
That means the television, your computer (at home & at work), your phone, iPad, video game, Apple Watch … whatever! Pick a week, a day, heck – maybe even just one hour to consciously decide to unplug. We have gotten used to so much screen time, we forget how great it is for our stress levels, health, and overall wellbeing to just put the electronics down and take some time to unplug. Maybe try to step away from your computer at work and take little [screen-free] breaks a few times a day. Or maybe decide to put away the phone and turn off the t.v. for at least an hour before you go to bed each night.
Lets get back to those magical little endorphins. If there’s any way to reduce stress, its to increase endorphins. Working out literally releases chemicals in your body that make you happier, thus lowering your stress hormones. Working out gives you an extra energy boost – so if stress is bringing you down, trying getting in a 30 minute workout to relieve some of that stress and get the heart racing and the endorphins pumping. It’s a natural way to improve self-confidence and overall feel better!
 Take a Bath
This one is a new one for me. I’ve never been much of a bath kinda girl, but lets be real – what kind of girl wouldn’t like to feel like she’s at the spa while she’s in her very own bathroom? For me, this de-stressing technique only works if I go all out; candles, bubbles, scented oils, face mask, hair in a messy bun, relaxing music in the background.. you get the picture, right? [If I don’t feel like running a bath, I still use this same technique – candles, face mask, and all included – and just meditate in my room.] There’s something about the mixture of the scents and the hot water and the relaxing tones that just puts all my stresses to rest. I clear my mind and am able to get a fresh start again.
I don’t know about you, but when I craft, it’s almost a form of meditation. Getting so immersed in a new project – working on a complex crochet pattern, burning an intricate design, repurposing an old dresser – all of these things helped me get lost in something other than stress or anxiety. Doing something that brings you pleasure, like crafting does for me, releases little neurotransmitters called dopamine that act as a natural anti-depressant of sorts. So basically crafting is just good for your health in case you needed any more evidence 🙂
Here are a few of my other favorite ways to de-stress, some you can even do with your significant other!
- Go for a hike
- Drive through the mountains
- Do yoga
- Get a massage
- Get a mani/pedi
- Go for a swim
- Write your thoughts out in a journal
- Read a book
Do you have a fail-proof way you de-stress? Have you tried one on my list? Let me about hear your favorites!
Want to learn more about how each of these 5 techniques help reduce stress? Check out my sources!